NPPA’s Battle Against Pharma Overcharging

The NPPA has reported a total of 2,433 cases of pharma overcharging from 1979 to September 2023

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NPPA National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
NPPA

Pharma Overcharging

In the labyrinth of pharmaceutical pricing, a staggering revelation has come to light. Over 86 percent of the total demand raised by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) from the pharma industry on alleged pharma overcharging of prices remains unrecovered.

This intricate web of financial intricacies reveals a complex scenario, where approximately 71.52 percent of the demanded amount is entangled in various legal battles.

The Pharma Overcharging Odyssey

Delving into the past, the NPPA has reported a total of 2,433 cases of pharma overcharging from 1979 to September 2023.

The raised demand for pharma overcharging amounts to a staggering Rs. 9,900.8 crore, including accumulated interest.

Recovery and Litigation

As of September 2023, only Rs. 1,371.9 crore has been successfully collected, leaving a formidable Rs. 8,528.9 crore still pending.

This substantial amount is currently under litigation, with cases totaling Rs. 6,100.2 crore contested in various forums.

Pending Recoveries

The complexity deepens as Rs. 230.9 crore is referred to the collector, awaiting recovery.

Simultaneously, around Rs. 5.5 crore is entwined with industrial and financial restructuring, along with the official liquidator.

The remaining Rs. 2,192.4 crore is associated with pharma overcharging cases still in process.

Suo-Moto Recovery

Despite the convoluted situation, the NPPA reports a suo-moto recovery of Rs. 2.54 crore in Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013, and Rs. 0.19 crore in DPCO 1995 for the period from April 1 to September 30, 2023.

Yearly Trends

The Authority reflects varying trends over the years. In the year 2023-24 till September, 30 cases were reported under DPCO 2013, surpassing the total of 148 cases in the entire year of 2022-23.

Astonishingly, the recovery in the first half of 2023-24 already exceeds the total recovered in the preceding three fiscal years.

DPCO, 2013 in Action

The Department of Pharmaceuticals emphasizes the government’s active role in monitoring scheduled and non-scheduled medicines under DPCO, 2013.

Actions are taken based on references from state drugs controllers, individuals, market data, and complaints received through grievance redressal websites.

Pharma Sahi Daam App 2.0

In a bid for transparency, the government introduces the Pharma Sahi Daam App 2.0.

This app, available on Android and iOS platforms, allows users to search and compare medicine prices, ensuring compliance with approved price ranges.

It also facilitates consumers to lodge complaints against overpricing.

Summary of Pharma Overcharging Cases

Let’s break down the numbers:

  • Total Cases: 2,433
  • Pharma Overcharged Amount: Rs. 9,900.8 crore
  • Recovered: Rs. 1,371.9 crore
  • Outstanding Demand: Rs. 8,528.9 crore
  • Under Litigation: Rs. 6,100.2 crore
  • Cases with Collector: Rs. 230.9 crore
  • Pending with BIFR/Official Liquidator: Rs. 5.5 crore
  • Cases Under Process: Rs. 2,192.4 crore

Year-End Review

The Department of Pharmaceuticals, in its year-end review in December 2023, reassures the effective monitoring of medicine prices.

With 1,310 samples collected in 2023, 603 cases of prima facie price violation were identified.

Pharma Sahi Daam App Impact

The Pharma Sahi Daam App has garnered over one lakh downloads. It empowers consumers to verify medicine prices, register complaints, and ensure adherence to approved price ranges.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.

FAQs

  1. How does the NPPA determine pharma overcharging?
    The NPPA identifies pharma overcharging through references from state drugs controllers, market data, and complaints received through grievance redressal websites.
  2. What is the significance of the Pharma Sahi Daam App? The Pharma Sahi Daam App empowers consumers to search, compare, and verify medicine prices, ensuring compliance with approved price ranges.
  3. How has the recovery trend changed over the years? Recovery trends have shown variations, with the first half of 2023-24 surpassing the total recoveries in the previous three fiscal years.
  4. What legal challenges does the NPPA face in pharma overcharging cases? The NPPA is engaged in litigation with companies, with a substantial amount contested in various forums and cases referred to the collector.
  5. How can consumers lodge complaints against overpricing? Consumers can use the Pharma Sahi Daam App to lodge complaints against overpricing, ensuring active participation in maintaining fair pricing practices.

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